UC Merced classrooms, office cleared

November 1, 2012 

UC Merced on Thursday afternoon briefly evacuated one of its classrooms and an office building after an air handler in its heat and air conditioning system burned out.

Lorena Anderson, a spokeswoman at UC Merced, said that when fire officials initially responded, they couldn't locate a fire. But some people reported smelling smoke and others reported possibly smelling gas near the ventilation system in the first floor.

The Merced Fire Department and personnel from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection investigated while the building was evacuated at about 1 p.m. The building reopened shortly after 2 p.m., when fire personnel found the cause of the smell. The air handler was being repaired Thursday.

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